Fedex and Ups—The War Continues

15 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008

See all articles by Robert E. Spekman

Robert E. Spekman

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Jeanna Composit

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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This case examines both the nature of competition between two formidable firms and how they continue to transform themselves. See also "Package War: FedEx vs. UPS" (UVA-G-0485).




As the competition between Federal Express (FedEx) and United Parcel Service (UPS) escalated over the years, consumers reaped the benefits of faster, cheaper services. The fierce rivalry between these two companies seemed to change direction in the mid-1990s as opportunities to appear innovative became increasingly difficult to achieve. Both FedEx and UPS realized that significant changes in the way they approached their businesses were needed. These changes came largely in the form of information technology, which became one of the differentiating factors between these two powerhouses. By enabling customers to control their access to information, FedEx and UPS created a new battleground, while continuing to compete on the ground, in the air, overseas, and through a number of expanded service offerings.

Analysts' fear that the market would become saturated seemed to become a reality in 1999, as FedEx's profits plummeted while UPS saw its second most profitable year in company history. FedEx's troubles, however, were somewhat short-lived, and in a surprising resurgence due mainly to growing ground operations, FedEx was seeing record earnings once again by 2002.

Information Technology

Mass customization and the World Wide Web

. . .

Keywords: strategy, formation, and, implented, competitive, dynamics, competitive, markeeting, strategy

Suggested Citation

Spekman, Robert E. and Composit, Jeanna, Fedex and Ups—The War Continues. Darden Case No. UVA-M-0689, Available at SSRN:

Robert E. Spekman (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

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Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924-4860 (Phone)


Jeanna Composit

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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